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salons of the year 2009

Salon of Distinction: Five Salon

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Salon of Distinction: Complexions Spa for Beauty and Wellness

Salon of Distinction: Christopher J. Salon

Salon of Distinction: Arrojo

Salon of Distinction: Aqua at the Georgia Center Salon and Spa

Salon of Distinction: Amore Salon and Spa

Third Runner Up: Root

The secret to Root’s successful remodel was owner Jim Koktavy’s belief that it was time to tear down walls instead of build them up. Koktavy preserved the architectural attributes of the 125-year-old building that now houses the salon—exposing and cleaning original brick walls, integrating the limestone foundation into the basement-level hair department, ripping out ceilings and exposing the natural joists to provide height, and reusing the staircase, which was moved to accommodate the salon’s new flow.Relocating hair services to the basement made sense for Root. Most clients don’t want to be seen from the street in foils, stresses Koktavy. He hired a lighting architect to create perfect lighting for the color process. One of the owner’s favorite new features is the open color bar and mixing area that takes center stage. “Clients really enjoy witnessing the mixology—they see it’s much more than opening up a box of color and dumping it in a bowl. It conveys the notion that they can’t do this at home,” he says.The remodel offered Koktavy an opportunity to fix the things he missed when he opened the salon four years ago. “As a new owner, you’re so focused on getting the right number of chairs in there, you overlook things like storage space,” he says. One of the biggest improvements is a separate retail area that provides a comfortable shopping experience for guests.By incorporating the building’s existing features into the design and repurposing existing materials, the design also is quite eco-friendly. A floor of recycled rubber not only provides an eco-conscious choice, Koktavy found its granite appearance stands up to tough Minnesota winters. “Most of all, I’m proud we created nearly 4,000-square-feet of organic, chic environment on a less than $200,000 budget—and we did it without several dumpsters hauling stuff away,” he says.

Second Runner Up: Globe Salon

When most salons move to a new location, they typically are seeking more space. Las Vegas’ Globe Salon decided to leave their bland strip-mall location to find a new and exciting space that better fulfilled the reputation and image of their brand. They found the perfect location—a storefront in a loft-style residential building in the downtown Arts District. But to move there, the salon had to sacrifice 40-percentof its existing space and squeeze its operation into 1,000 square feet.With efficiency a top concern, the new design takes its cues from the hospitality industry with high-end finishes, including hardwood floors and cabinetry, designer chairs, imported wallpaper, a glass-topped desk and Shiatsu massaging shampoo shuttles. “Designer Kevin Brailsford aimed to capitalize on the cube-like dimensions and make the space feel like an urban jewel box,” says Staci Linklater, president of the salon’s development company. “Rather than close in the ceiling, the solution was to enclose the HVAC unit in a wallpapered soffit and accent it with hanging strands of glass beads to make it feel like a giant black chandelier.”To deal with reduced space concerns, the salon reduced its station count by three and positioned stations closer together, allowing the team to work more productively together. The architect positioned the skin care treatment room directly behind the front desk and created a hidden door that becomes a seamless part of the wall. Potential noise was reduced in the small space with wood panels on the wall and soft layers of insulation in the concrete ceiling.“We believe Globe Salon captures the essence of upcoming salon design trends perfectly—a manageably sized space that is intimate, yet spacious, designed with high-end finishes and intimate touches that reflect the fact that we are first and foremost a hospitality business,” says Linklater.

First Runner Up: Intrigue Salon

Jeff South understands the value of location. In the heart of Marietta, Georgia, he studied the building that sat on a street that transports 62,000 cars a day and was conveniently located across the street from his existing salon. The downside? The space was a former express oil change shop, with the customary garage-style doors, metal and concrete construction and, of course, the obligatory oil pit.From experience, South knew the area catered to upscale families who relocated there for the nationally ranked schools. Although the children now enjoyed a top-shelf education, many of the parents missed the more sophisticated accoutrements of their previous metro communities. When South looked at the lube shop, he envisioned a stylish and sophisticated salon that offered a visually fun and funky experience he likens to ‘South Beach meets SoHo.’Today, his vision is realized, as Intrigue’s décor is sleek and clean—predominantly white, with clean edges and angles, accented by splashes of bold orange in light fixtures, seats and eclectic artwork. The space is both ergonomically and aesthetically pleasing, packed with natural light from skylights and windows, clutter-free workstations and a color bar and processing area.“We believe Intrigue is ahead of the curve in cutting-edge salon design with our anti-fatigue flooring, cordless work area and ergonomic hanging equipment,” says South.“Our efficient, cross-functional use of the heavily-used reception and retail area sets the tone for a salon striving to maximize value and productivity in limited physical space.”As for that oil pit: Today, it provides a convenient 1,500 square feet of storage space.

Grand Prize Winner: Avanti Day Resort

In March of 2007, Luda Conti was attending Cosmoprof in Bologna, Italy, when she got a phone call that forever changed her life: There had been a fire in her spa—caused by a chemical combustion in the middle of the night. The damage was irreversible.The Manalapan, New Jersey, resort utilized a nearby medical office as a transitory workspace for staff members until they could return to the original location. Used to a stylish and grand setting, this new location required adjustment from both team members and clients. “Nonetheless, we survived the move,” Conti says, “in great part due to the loyalty and love of our clients and employees.”Enter the new, 13,000-square-foot Avanti Day Resort. The name Avanti translated in Italian means to advance and move forward. And move forward they have, indeed.Immediately upon entering, clients notice the stunning, contemporary decor with warm colors, natural elements, an open floor plan and plush furnishings that create a lounge-like atmosphere. White stone Bali Pebble walls create a clean, crisp look, matched with dark-stained hardwood floors and seating covered in creamy leather and rich velour.Not only did the salon undergo a renovation, its menu of service offerings had an extreme makeover, too—offering a full-service salon; world-class day spa; medi-spa services; teeth whitening; its Signature Treatment, exclusively offered in the salon’s Razul Chamber; and Revage Laser System, a high-tech solution to shedding and thinning hair.“We have redefined luxury and pampering by reaching out with special touches that are the hallmark of refined hospitality,” Conti says. “It is an unforgettable experience where every feature and detail transports one to a world of unsurpassed services and pampering.”Here, Conti points out the important design elements of the salon and spa.“Avanti is a place where our guests are immersed in our commitment to excellence, embodied in our unsurpassed attention to detail, devotion to style, understated elega

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